Apartment owners deferring repairs in hope of State help, group warns

Alliance urges tax relief scheme as it warns of ‘tragic consequences’ of delaying work

An advocacy group for owners of properties affected by construction defects has warned that plans to fix fire safety issues in developments are being held off on while a Government announcement on financial remedies is awaited.

The Construction Defects Alliance says almost 100 apartment complexes with fire safety or structural defects are not carrying out remediation work because they expect financial remedies to be included in Budget 2022.

In October, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien told The Irish Times the aim was to have a report from the Government-appointed working group - set up to examine the issue of housing defects - before summer 2021 and that it would be discussed as part of Budget 2022.

However, the Alliance says the working group is “lagging behind” and will not have recommendations ready on time.


Owners are afraid that any financial solutions announced by Government will not be retrospective, the Alliance says, pointing to the “potentially tragic consequences of long-fingering the remediation of fire defects”.

The Irish Times on Friday published details of fire-safety defects estimated to cost more than €5 million to fix at a large Celtic Tiger-era apartment complex in Park West, Dublin 12.

The Alliance has estimated up to 92,000 apartments built during the boom in Ireland could be affected by legacy defects such as a lack of fire-stopping material.

An Irish Times investigation running since December 2018 has found owners are facing bills of up to €60,000 to remediate severe mould, collapsing roof canopies, rotting balconies and an extensive lack of fire-safety measures.

In response to the concerns about developments deferring work, the Alliance has sent a submission to Government urging the inclusion of a tax-relief scheme in Budget 2022.

It proposes a tax relief for owner-occupiers who have paid or are paying for defect remediation work and a VAT rebate for social housing providers.

Such a scheme would cost the state a maximum of €7.3 million, the Alliance says, and would help to address aspects of the issue in 2022 while “the comprehensive package of measures is being developed by Government”.

Niamh Towey

Niamh Towey

Niamh Towey is an Irish Times journalist